A thriving community needs teachers to thrive

A vibrant classroom, skilled teachers, and happy children are the heart of any community.

A partnership between Kokoda Track Foundation (KTF), the New Ireland Department of Education, and the Newcrest Sustainability Fund delivers a holistic program that boosts teachers’ skill development and refreshes classrooms to create a nurturing environment for the region’s children to develop, learn and flourish.

Project Purpose

A restructure of the National Education Plan means that teachers of New Ireland’s elementary and primary must upgrade their qualifications to continue to teach and, in turn, remain employed.

To meet the new requirements, teachers must improve their Grade 12 qualifications via Flexible Open and Distance Education (FODE) and then retrain as early childhood educators.

Our partnership understands the challenge for the teachers and the community yet welcomes the positive long-term impact this will have on the area’s children today and for future generations.

Martha Bentley, KTF’s Head of Education, said:

“Introducing early childhood learning into schools is a critical and positive step. We know from studies across the globe the importance of early childhood education. What happens during the early years is of crucial importance for every child’s development. It forms the basis of intelligence, personality, social behaviour, and capacity to learn and nurture oneself as an adult.”

Working together, our partnership aims to support teachers with the tools they need to be the best teachers they can be.

Empowering Teachers

Teachers have an influential and vital role in children’s lives.

As well as teacher advancement, a complimentary program will upgrade classrooms and equip them with the specifics needed for a strong early learning environment. In addition, these classrooms provide fun, vibrant spaces to improve the children’s feelings of wellness and, in the longer term, their quality of life.

The project is working with 15 schools across the Namatanai district. The aim is to support the schools and introduce education specific to early learners (4 to 5 years).

Doanld Moko, Flexible Open Distance Education (FODE) Principal, said:

“Better educated teachers equals better educated students. There is a great need for elementary teachers to upgrade or they face being forced out of their jobs. With the opportunity being provided right now, through FODE and this program, the teachers are looking forward to commencing their studies as soon as possible.”

Our overarching goal is to build a platform where teachers and students have a place to thrive. A learning environment where confident, skilled teachers continue their work in nurturing New Ireland’s children to become resilient community members of the future.

“We are extremely excited to be working together with the Provincial Government and Newcrest Sustainability Fund in New Ireland Province again this year.” – KTF CEO Dr Genevieve Nelson.


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